Saturday, January 26, 2013

Please Wear This Rodent Helmet with Me - Black Rat (2010)

Black Rat is one of those movies I can't decide if I like or not. I'm pretty sure it's not good, but the bizarreness of it all compelled me to sit through a lot of the bullshit just so I could see how it played out. It's very Japanese, and it's very stupid. It's also absurdly funny in parts, which in hindsight is probably what kept me from turning it off and finding something else to watch.

The premise is simple: 6 high school students get a text from a former friend, Asuka, who committed suicide 2 months prior. It says for them to meet her at their school at midnight. That's it. They show up at the designated room a few minutes before the clock strikes 12, and as they're debating who's behind the impossible texts, their dead friend shows up wearing a hand-made rat head. Oh, no, don't worry; it makes total sense.

That's the laziest furry costume I've ever seen.

Okay, so a little back-story is in order. Before Asuka killed herself, she was trying to get the group of friends to put on a dance routine with her for a festival. She made the glorious rat head pictured above for them to wear during the routine. Nobody wanted to do it, though, and long story short, Asuka jumped off of a roof while wearing the rat head.

Don't ask me who she's waving at.

The thing about the story is that it's never explained well enough to make much sense. From what I could gather, she jumped from the roof because of a combination things. For one, she was a very socially awkward person, and nobody really liked to be around her. She kept asking them to practice their dancing, but it was obvious it wasn't going to happen. Then there's the sort-of love triangle that the movie really wants me to figure out with little-to-no information. I never understood what any of it was about, but I have to conclude that being rejected by her friends and not finding the love she was looking for led to her suicide. Why jump from a roof with a rat head? Why not? Gah!

So, once Asuka shows up at the school where the group is waiting, she proceeds to tell them through a series of notebook writings (she never speaks) that she is going to kill each and every one of them. She then takes out a bat and starts wildly swinging it all over the place. She's the most inefficient bat-swinger I've ever seen. Seriously, it's like she's swinging at a pinata but she's not sure where it is in the room. It's pretty bad, and the horrible aim continues throughout the entire movie.

That's one of the main gripes I have with Black Rat. I just couldn't bring myself to believe this girl could kill anyone. I get the scare factor, but there's 6 of them and one of her. She can't hit the broad side of a barn, so why not just bum rush the bitch? Crappiest. Ghost. Ever.

On the other hand, the situations that come about as she goes after individuals are sometimes inspired. She tells one kid that if he can stop her kick from going into the soccer net, she'll let him live. He sucks at soccer, but of course he gives it a go. He loses, and she bashes his brains in. Then there's the girl she ties to a chair with electric wires and forces to get a score of 100 at karaoke. If she does that, she's forgiven. As predicted, she doesn't even come close.

C'mon, that shit is just funny.

As far as the group of friends goes, they're mostly tolerable except for one guy. He's the rebel of the bunch. His hair is crazy (stupid), he wears his loud shirt untucked, he smokes, and he yells a lot. Yea, he's really just a giant douche.


He also spends an inordinate amount of time flailing around on the floor, because his legs don't work, I guess. There's a moral in there somewhere, such as smoking and being a douche causes Flailing Leg Syndrome.

FLS affects 800,000 jerks in Japan alone.

Come to think of it, none of these people should even be friends. They don't seem to really like each other, but there they are, hanging out for no apparent reason. That, coupled with the totally uncalled for left turn the movie takes in the last 25 minutes or so, brings it down several notches. Not to give away too much, but it's basically like a much bloodier and darker Scooby Doo episode. Hey, I guess I figured out if I like Black Rat or not. It's interesting to see once, just because, but the weird shit doesn't quite redeem the flaws.

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